Aloke Bajpai On iXiGo’s Funding, Founder’s Stake

iXiGo raised $18.5 mn in funding from SAIF Partners and MMT and a general query was – why? why did they sell off?

Here is a QnA with Aloke Bajpai, founder of iXiGo on the fund raised and story going forward:

QN: This is more like acquisition? Agree/disagree?
Aloke: This is the combination of a major financial and strategic investment – SAIF owns majority and Makemytrip owns minority (<20%). Also, our angel/seed investors are exiting to the incoming investors. Post
transaction, the iXiGO founders still own ~23% of the company and continue to manage and run the company – we have significant upside going forward, given the huge market potential of online travel
lead-generation, referrals and advertising. I personally think there is enough room for a transactional and lead-generation/media-model business to co-exist without conflict of interest and there are areas
of common interest that will benefit not just us but the travel industry and travel consumers.

QN: Why sell so early in the cycle? (at least the majority stake)? Google acquired and launched a vertical OTA specific service – I am sure there is enough opportunity out there. Why MMT? Doesn’t it take away the neutrality of ixigo’s business model?

Aloke: We found a good synergy of team, experience, understanding of the space and vision of the future with SAIF and MakeMyTrip. We will respect all existing agreements with our partners and since we
continue to run as two separate entities with two distinct management teams, we do not foresee any conflict of interest in continuing working with multiple suppliers/OTAs just like we have always done. We
also do not foresee any change in the inherent neutral and unbiased nature of our business model. As for Google’s ITA acquisition, we don’t foresee any short to medium term impact to our business since ITA is a US-centric flight-data aggregator.

QN: Future plans?
Aloke: We’ll continue to fulfil the travel information / research needs of Indian consumers by aggregating useful travel information and launch new products / tools that  will engage travelers and allow them to
plan their trips more meaningfully.

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